The Journal Register (Medina, NY)

Local News

September 16, 2013

Orchard Manor denies anti-union claims

Medina Journal-Register — An Orchard Manor spokesperson says claims made by some attempting to form a union at the nursing home are “outrageous.”

Aaron Lichtman, the spokesperson for Orchard Manor, said, “My understanding is that initially there were some employees who said they wanted a union, and obviously a union spokesperson is working very hard to get a union.” 

Given the pro-union vs. anti-union happenings going on in recent weeks, Lichtman said if things were as bad as described, complaints would have been filed. He labeled the pro-union people part of “a propaganda machine … that’s undeniable.”

Having a union at Orchard Manor is something ownership “is not ideologically opposed to,” Lichtman said. “In fact, I think Orchard Manor is quite aware that unions and ownership can work together very effectively to provide high quality care.”

The tactics used to get a union, however, Lichtman took to task. “A union shouldn’t run a propaganda campaign and threaten employees. All ownership would like to see is that people who work at the facility are able to make their decision based upon whatever is important to them.”

While the pro-union workers have alleged Orchard Manor has used so-called “union busters” to intimidate them, Lichtman said the facility has instead used “people who are there to help facilitate and ensure that the voting process is a fair one. My understanding is that they are former or current union organizers, and their experience is from the union side.”

With a vote on whether to join the CSEA employees union set for Thursday, Lichtman was asked why, after years without a union, would employees feel the need under new ownership to join one.

“I can’t speak to why an employee would or would not want a union,” he said, but added, “Thus far, it appears as if not everybody at the facility shares the same view on unions, but the vast majority share the view that patient care is paramount.”

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